Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Checker Finn Admits Defeat

CURMUDGUCATION: Checker Finn Admits Defeat:

Checker Finn Admits Defeat

Has a prominent reformster given up. Not quite-- but the PISA and TIMSS results have given Chester Finn pause as well as a moment of perhaps inadvertent admission that twenty-five years of reforminess have been a failure.

I can never quite get myself into the whole podcast thing, but a friend recommended I check out a recent episode of the Fordham Foundation's Gadfly podcast and it was... illuminating.

Not actually Robert Pondiscio

The show actually starts with a quick audioquote of "What Does Gadfly Say," an in-house wacky video that Fordham madea few years back, and, well, it's brave of them to keep bringing it up. But wackiness, or perhaps just mid-level jauntiness, is the tone we're after here. So no super-serious Masters of the Universe or Evil Geniuses, but just the gang hangin' out and talkin' ed policy. The program is hosted by Alyssa Schwenk and Robert Pondiscio, and they start with some introductory banter. Schwenk introduces Pondiscio as the "Adele of education reform" and I don't know what to do with that-- he's actually a talented young British woman? Pondiscio (the current Big Cheese of the Fordham) gets a bonus point for working in "Isn't it pretty to think so," from the end of Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises. So, we're wacky, but also well-read.

Checker Finn is given a "who needs no introduction" introduction; if you think he does, know that he is one of the Old Guard of reformsterism, long-time cheese-in-chief of Fordham, current VP of the Maryland Board of Education, frequent scolder of Kids These Days, champion of charter marketing, and common core cheerleader. He's also game for the wackiness, noting that his father had a cousin 
CURMUDGUCATION: Checker Finn Admits Defeat:

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